Stamina Air Rower 1399 Review
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Stamina Air Rower 1399 Review

Do you want an air-resistance rowing machine but don’t want to pay $1,000? The Stamina 1399 rower might be for you.

I own and use the Conept2 but have had the chance to try several Stamina air rowers including the 1399 when training clients. It’s one of the better budget rowing machines I’ve tried.

Stamina 1399 Air Rower in garage.
The version of the Stamina 1399 I trained a client on.

In short, the Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399 is an excellent budget air rowing machine. It offers a solid steel frame, comfortable padded seat, and multi-function monitor at about 1/3 the price of high-end air rowers. The main downside is the resistance since there are no damper settings.

We’ll get into it, resistance with all air rowers is largely determined by how fast you row. But higher-quality air rowers let you control the resistance with a damper setting that controls air flow providing a wider range of difficulty.

If cost is a primary concern, you can’t go wrong with the Stamina 1399.

Stamina Air Rower 1399

Resistance Type

The Stamina Air Rower 1399 is an air-resistance rowing machine.

Here’s a brief description of how an air rower works:

When the handle of the rower is pulled it causes a flywheel with fan blades to spin and create wind.

The harder or faster you row, the more wind you generate. The more wind you generate, the greater the resistance becomes and the harder it is to row. That is why this type of rower is categorized as variable resistance aka rowers with a dynamic resistance system.

Contrast with magnetic resistance which only depends on how close the magnet is to the flywheel. I.e., a magnetic rower will have less realistic rowing motion since rowing on water also gets harder the faster you row.

If one day you feel like taking it easy, don’t row too hard and the resistance will be minimal.   Conversely, if you feel like having a more intense workout, row harder and I guarantee it will be much harder to row (because the resistance will be greater).

So, the resistance is adjustable. If you see comments stating that the resistance isn’t adjustable, that’s technically untrue. They just mean there is no damper setting, i.e., no buttons to press to increase the resistance.

The same resistance style that I just described is the preferred type by Olympic rowers, so obviously it works!

You can learn more about air resistance and how it operates by visiting my air resistance vs. magnetic resistance article.

Resistance Benefits

The Stamina 1399 Air Rower has an extremely smooth and strong rowing stroke.  As mentioned previously, the resistance is ‘variable’ which a lot of people love.

Stamina 1399 Air Rower

Variable resistance is great for HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and Crossfit style workouts.  This is because you can speed up or slow down without stopping to change any settings and the resistance will adjust automatically to your speed.

The Stamina 1399 ATS Air Rower also has an inclined seat rail which helps add some additional resistance while also creating a smoother rowing stroke.

The inclined seat rail means a user will have to push themselves up a slight incline, which helps create a better leg workout. They will also have to control their return down the decline, which causes negative resistance and a better leg workout.

The seat is about 9.0″ off the floor at the lowest point and about 12.0″ at the highest point.  So the angle is not that intense but still an added benefit.

Resistance Complaints

Unlike the higher-end air rowers that I have reviewed, such as the Concept2 Model D and Model E, the Stamina Air Rower does not have the option to adjust a damper settings. Damper settings are like gears on a bike that change the way the rowing experience feels.

While this is a bit of a bummer, no other budget air rowers have a damper setting.  If you want to receive this benefit you will have to pay over $600 more!

Another thing to mention would be that air rowers make the most noise out of all the resistance types. The noise is a ‘wooshing’ sound created when the flywheel spins.

Most users listen to music with headphones or it just doesn’t bother them. People commented that the rowing machine could not be heard in another room and it did not wake their children up from a nap.  So if you have small children or live in an apartment you should be fine.

I recorded myself rowing on my Concept2 Rower which is similar sounding to the Stamina Air Rower 1399. You can listen to the sound here.

Resistance Strength Debate

Rowing machines are popular because they give a full-body workout with minimal impact on your joints.

The 1399 Air Rower will work out your whole body but the question is will the resistance strength be enough and will the workload be evenly distributed to your lower and upper body?

This question has been raised a few times and seems to have come from users not rowing with proper form.


As I mentioned earlier, the resistance strength should be suitable for users of all fitness levels and the Stamina 1399 Air Rower gets good feedback in this regard most of the time.

Some unhappy users were upset because they felt the resistance wasn’t strong enough and could not be adjusted.  This is mainly because those users did not know air rowing machines are not “adjustable resistance” but instead are “variable resistance”.

In order to feel more resistance they must row faster.

Air rowing resistance machines are for people who can motivate themselves to row faster.  You cannot row slowly and feel a strong resistance.

The angled seat rail, as mentioned earlier, also helps to increase the resistance strength.

Resistance Distribution

A few reviewers also felt the rowing machine gave either their upper body or lower body a better workout.  The complaints were mixed between the two groups which shows the issue is more than likely caused by improper form.

Users that complained of an uneven workout were probably just using the Stamina Air Rower 1399 incorrectly. Rowing should be about 60% legs, 20% core, and 20% arms. Adding more or less percent to any of these categories would cause an imbalance between the upper and lower body.

Users must also remember to control their recovery. Meaning, your recovery stroke should be 2x as long as your drive. If it takes 1 second to push off, it should take 2 seconds to recover. Most rowers will count while performing a stroke like this – one….one..two…one….one..two.

Beginner rowers must also remember that it can take a few weeks to adjust to a new form of exercise.  If they feel their legs are getting a better workout, then it is probably just because they haven’t worked out their legs in a while.  Same as if they feel their upper-body is receiving a better workout.

With time you will start to feel the rowing stroke giving your entire body a complete workout.  Check out my article, What Does a Rowing Machine Do For Your Body? to see what muscles you will be working!


Almost everyone looking for a full-body workout should be happy with the Stamina Air Rower 1399.

The resistance has proven to be strong enough for beginner, intermediate, and advanced users.  It is possible that if you are used to rowing on a Concept2 that you will feel some difference.

If you’re concerned about resistance inequity (upper vs. lower-body) or resistance strength, you shouldn’t be.   Over 90% of users didn’t complain and for the few that did, most mentioned their body adjusted after only a few workouts.

Overall, users really enjoyed the resistance provided by the Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399.

Monitor/Control Panel

The Stamina 1399 ATS Air Rower Monitor
The Stamina 1399 Rowing Machine Monitor

The Stamina Air Rower 1399 has a single-button multi-function monitor.  The monitor tracks basic fitness data such as:

  • Speed (MPH)
  • Distance (Miles)
  • Time
  • Calories

The speed remains fixed on the monitor while the rest of the data are displayed one at a time and can be changed manually by pressing the ‘mode’ button. You can also have the monitor in ‘scan’ mode where the monitor cycles through the workout data displaying each for 6 seconds.

The monitor turns on by pressing the button or by moving the seat and turns off automatically after 4 minutes of inactivity. It’s powered by 2 AA batteries (not included).

The monitor has no backlight so it can be hard to read in low-light areas. The units are not in metric either which can be confusing for people who are used to using Olympic distances.

The calorie calculator is based on an average user so it’s not super accurate. But it is useful in helping a given user compare which workouts were more effective at burning calories.  To learn about burning more calories on a rowing machine check out this article I wrote.

Overall, the Stamina 35-1399 Air Rower monitor is a basic fitness monitor that keeps track of essential workout data.

It is a great monitor for this price range and is comparable with other monitors I have seen on similarly0priced rowers.

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Build Quality

Stamina is known for building really strong frames and nothing changes with the Stamina Rower 1399.  The frame is built of solid steel and feels sturdy to the touch.

The nylon strap that is pulled to spin the fan blades is durable and will be able to handle the abuse you’ll give it over time as you get stronger.

Stamina Air Rower 1399 Quality

Air-resistance rowers are known to be the noisiest out of all the rowing machine resistance types, so it comes as no surprise that this rower isn’t quiet.  The noise level isn’t that bad, especially if you expect the machine will make some noise.

The harder you row, the louder the fan blades get so keep that in mind.  Most users like that it gets louder the harder they row because it tells them that they’re working out hard.

But don’t worry about pulling too hard, the Stamina Air Rower 1399 is built to withstand the toughest rowing.

A small percentage of users mentioned that this rower is louder than the Concept2 rowers, but didn’t say anything about the noise level bothering them.

Besides the typical noises you’d hear on an air-rower (fan blades, sliding seat), don’t expect to hear annoying creaking noises more common with cheaper rowing machines.

Overall, users really enjoyed the solid build quality of the Stamina Air Rower 1399 and had very few complaints!

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The Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399 is a rower built for comfort and had very few complaints.

The padded, upholstered seat glides smoothly up and down the seat rail and most users found the seat to be comfortable.  The ergonomic design makes it comfortable, especially for rowers that workout for long periods of time.

Stamina Air Rower 1399 Storage

The handles have a textured grip and feel comfortable in your hands. This is important because you’re going to be gripping the handles a lot!

The footrests are large and can fit most shoe sizes.  The nylon straps will keep your feet locked in place when you row. This is important because you need a solid foot base in order to row efficiently.

One user commented that she loves the footrests on this rower because she can easily row with or without shoes.  The footrests also pivot which allows for a more comfortable, fluid rowing stroke.

Some users chose to put down a workout mat, such as the Stamina Fold-to-Fit Exercise Mat, to minimize movement on hardwood floors and reduce any vibrations.

The overall motion is fluid and resembles the feeling of rowing on the water.  The seat glides up and down the rail very smoothly and the nylon strap that pulls the fan blades go in and out of the fan casing without any hiccups.

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The Stamina Air Rower 1399 is perfect for people that don’t have much storage space in their house because it folds up and reduces its footprint by almost 50%.

Stamina Air Rower 1399 Storage

To store, all you have to do is remove a bolt from the frame, fold it upwards, and put the bolt back in the frame.

The whole process can be done in a few seconds.

For portability, the machine has caster wheels that make moving the rower around a piece of cake.

All you have to do is lift up the end opposite of where the fan is and push.

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The Stamina 1399 Air Rower has a fairly large capacity which is nice to see on such a low priced rowing machine.

Per the manufacturer, the maximum user weight is 250 pounds.  There were some users as heavy as 270-280 lbs. who used the rower with no problems.

Air-rowers usually have a longer seat rail and that benefits taller users/ users with longer legs because there’s more space to row on.

Users as tall as 6’4” have mentioned they used the rower with no issues.

I wanted to see if taller users could use the 1399 so I called Stamina directly.  I spoke to a customer service agent and asked her if there were any height limitations on this machine. After putting me on hold to check for a few minutes, she told me that someone 6’4” uses the rower without any issues.

I did a little more digging and found that from the foot pedals to the middle of the seat at full extension is about 45.0″ and can fit an inseam length of up to 38.0″.  However if you are over 6’6″ I would double check with the manufacturer.

As far as a minimum height requirement, I wasn’t able to find any negative comments from shorter users. Children seem to use the rower, so being short shouldn’t be a problem

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  • Shipping Dimensions:
    • 45.0″ x 24.0″ x 9.0″ (L x W x H)
  • Assembled size:
    • 77″ x 18″ x 22″ (L x W x H)
  • Folded size:
    • 48″ x 18″ x 28″ (L x W x H)
  • Weight:
    • 55 pounds [25 kg]

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Several users commented that the 1399 Air Rower was easy to put together.

A few users were able to put the unit together in as little as 15 minutes but most users took ~45 minutes.

Everything needed for assembly is included in the box along with 2 allen wrenches and a regular wrench.

No previous experience putting items together is required.  As long as you follow the instructions you will be fine.

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Pros and Cons


  • Low price-point for an air-resistance rower (higher-end models cost 3x more)
  • Heavy-duty steel frame
  • Great resistance
  • Basic but good quality monitor
  • Folds up in seconds for easy storage
  • Wheels make it easy to move around when needed
  • Comfortable upholstered seat


  • No option to adjust damper (to adjust the feel of each row)
  • Monitor units not in metric
  • A little noisier than higher-end air-rowing machines

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  • Frame: 3-years
  • Parts: 90-days

In my experience, Stamina has had great customer service and does their best to get customers replacement parts ASAP.

Most Stamina products require the owner to register their equipment when they receive their product.  Also make sure to reference the full product name: Stamina Air Rower 35-1399.

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Stamina Air Rower 1399 Price

The price of the Stamina Air Rower 1399 is one of the main selling points. There really just aren’t many quality air rowing machines at this price level.

The price for the 1399 Air Rower varies depending on where you buy it from but Amazon tends to have the lowest price. They also offer free shipping on qualified orders and a good layer of consumer protection.

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Stamina 1399 ATS Air Rower Review: Conclusion

Overall the Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399 is an excellent budget air rowing machine.

People looking to buy an air rowing machine with great build quality and strong resistance really admire this rower.  Especially when they are not able to spend 3x as much on a high-end rowing machine.

I really love this rower as a great option for people on a budget. I even wrote an article calling it the Best Rowing Machine Under $500.

Some people like to compare the Stamina 1399 Air Rower vs. the Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower. You can read my full review here to see how they compare.

Other people like to compare the Stamina 35-1399 Air Rower vs. the Concept2 Model D. 

If you want the bells and whistles and have the money, then 100% buy a commercial rower like the Concept2. They last a lifetime and are best suited for taking up indoor rowing as a hobby. They’re the main rowers you’ll use in gyms and studios, indoor rowing competitions, etc. You can read my Model D breakdown here.

I hope you enjoyed my Stamina Air Rower 1399 review! Drop any comments or questions in the box below.

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  1. I appreciate your site. I am doing my research before buying a rowing machine. I am 6’4″ and although it is mentioned that the Stamina 1399 is long enough for my size;I am more than skeptical. the gal sitting on the machine is almost maxing out the rail and her knees are slightly bent. she is not a tall gal. additionally, 6’4″ is not an accurate measure for size of user. Inseam is the correct measurement. I happen to have a 36″ inseam. I want to buy this item; however, I think it is too small. any thoughts?

    1. Hi Dennis,

      I understand your concerns about your inseam and the Stamina Air Rower. To be honest, with your 36″ inseam, I would be concerned with using this rower.

      If budget wasn’t a concern, I would recommend the Concept2 Model D or E for your size. It’s not “cheap”, but the railway is extra long and IF it’s still not long enough for your legs, you can purchase an extension for the railway.

      If you’re okay with buying a used rower, I would check craigslist and look for a Model D or E in your area. They’re bullet-proof and last a lifetime so I wouldn’t be concerned about it being used (hopefully the previous owner cleaned it every now and then).

      There are a few other solid options for your inseam including any WaterRower machine, but again, they’re on the higher-end of the price range.

      Let me know if you have any further questions as I know how frustrating this can be for you.

      Thanks for stopping by,

  2. Hi Edwin!

    I was looking at this rower and the Stamina 1215. I’m only 4’11” so I’m concerned. You didn’t recommend the 1215 for anyone under 5’3″ so it’s out. Will my height be an issue with this one? I’d like to stay at this price point with the best quality possible. I can go higher if you have any other recommendations, but really don’t want to unless it’s a must.

    Thank you in advance for your help.


    Krista C.

    1. Hi Krista,

      The Stamina 1215 is a good machine. Based on my research and conversations with owners of the 1215, I initially didn’t recommend this rower to anyone shorter than 5’3″ but that height was given as a guideline.

      The main measurement that will determine if you can use that rower without any issues is your inseam (the length of your legs), but I don’t know what the preferred inseam length is for the 1215. I do recall reading about users of the 1215 being your height, but like I just mentioned, they probably have a longer inseam than a typical person your height.

      Ideally, it would be best if you can try this rower in-person first before making the actual purchase. Is there a store near you that has the 1215 in-stock so you can try it in the store?

      However, if that’s not an option, you can call/ email Stamina and a representative will get the inseam information for you. If they don’t have it on hand, they will measure it for you (they’ve done this for me a few times in the past). I would do it for you, but I’m out of town currently.

      Here’s their contact information:

      Phone number: 1-800-375-7520

      I would check to see if this machine will work for you. If not, let me know and I will help you with other options. Let me know if you have any other questions.


    1. Hi Theresa,

      I thought I replied to your message already – I apologize if you never received my response.

      Generally speaking, the Stamina Air Rower 1399 doesn’t make much floor noise, but it’s best have it on a carpeted floor in your situation. If you don’t have carpeted floor you could use it on, make sure to put a mat underneath that’s big enough to cover the entire rowing machine. Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks for stopping by.


  3. Hi there! Just stumbled upon your site. I’m looking at two models from Stamina….this one, the 1399, and the 1405. I believe the only difference between them is that the 1399 has a nylon rowing belt, while the 1405 has a chain. Are there any pros or cons around one or the other? Do you recommend the 1405 as highly as you do the 1399?

    I have noted that there are a lot of customer complaints around the workmanship and quality in the 1405.

    1. Hi Pierre,

      Sorry for the late reply. I haven’t personally reviewed the 1405 so I don’t feel comfortable saying too much about it other than I did see what the others have said about it (issues with workmanship and quality as you pointed out). The 1399 is a good machine and it’s at a solid price point for an air-resistance rower. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

      Take care and thanks for stopping by! Edwin

  4. I received this rower for XMAS as I had specifically asked for this model based on research and your review. It is very impressive and it gives me a harder workout than the commercial rower at the local community fitness center. I also felt that the lower body workout is less intense than the upper body and I really notice it after my workout in the shoulders and back. (I am going to be 61 years old soon but I use the weight machines at the gym about twice a week) The only doubt that I have about this rower is that the calorie count stated is quite a bit lower than the commercial gym model over the same time and intensity. I highly recommend this rower for the average person.

    1. Hi,

      What an awesome Xmas present! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with the Stamina Air Rower. Happy New Year and take care!!!


    2. Really appreciate this article and I just purchased this rower, based largely after your recommendation.

      After I pulled the trigger on the purchase, however, I uncovered a number of reviews stating the return spring mechanism is inadequately designed and prone to breaking.

      They said the manufacturer is away of this design flaw and will ship a replacement part for $25

      I’m a fairly robust 6’2″, 225, and am willing to not go ape on it if that means it won’t break, but I’m wondering if you’ve ever really stressed this machine in a very vigorous workout or heard of it breaking in this way?

      Thank you King!

      1. Hi Bernie – thank you for reaching out! I think once you get the rower you will be able to tell how hard you can push it. It’s obviously not a $1,000 Concept2 Rower so it can’t withstand an absolute beating but it for sure can handle some HIIT training.

        It might be worth reaching out to Stamina to see if they can send you a spring so you have one on hand :)

        1. Hi there, Bernie, I purchased my 1399, 3/5/16, and I usually get about 7 to 10 months,on a spring, 2 to 3 workouts a week,with some time off for work Im on my 5th spring , easy to replace, I’m 64, row, 20 minutes, 3.0 miles, Great workout, Have fun..????

  5. Hi Edwin,

    Do you believe the nylon strap is sufficient for someone that wants to use the machine 30-45 minutes a day 4-6 days a week? Stamina has a model $100 more with a chain strap, but I cant wrap myself to thinking it may be overkill for just 1 user.

    1. Hi Mike,

      I believe the nylon strap will be fine for that amount and one user. Most users do not see any problem with the strap wearing out and actually compliment its strength and fluidity. One user who did wear out the strap was able to get it replaced by Stamina free of charge. There was one complaint about a user who broke their strap and couldn’t get a return email from Stamina but I have always been able to get through to their customer service group and get my questions answered.

      Overall I believe this is a great machine for the price. I have also always felt that if the strap did break I would be able to fix it with a quick trip to Lowes or a local hardware store.

      Best of luck and thanks for dropping in!


  6. Hi Edwin, I love your advice btw! I would LOVE to get the Concept. It is what I use at the gym and it’s such a good workout. However, I am looking to buy something on the lower $ end. But I want to get that same workout. On the Concept, I felt and seen results almost everywhere from my thighs,arms,back, and belly. So we were looking into this Stamina Air (mostly because it kinda looks like the Concept) or the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine. Which of these two would you suggest? Or if neither is the option that’s okay. I just want to make sure what I buy is going to give that same cardio and strength workout that I feel on the Concept. I fully understand that you get what you pay for. So I understand it will probably not feel as smooth and last a lifetime.

    1. Jill,

      I’m glad you enjoy the site, thank you so much for the compliment! If I were you I would choose the Stamina Air Rower 1399. This will have more of the same feel and experience as the Concept2 because it is a air rower. It also received great reviews! I would be worried that you would not like the hydraulic piston style rowing machine of the Stamina 1215 Orbital just because it is not what you are used to.

      Let me know how it works out!

      Thanks and happy rowing!

  7. I just got one of these and so far I like it. However, the calorie monitor seems way off to me. The site I track calories on shows rowing for 30 minutes should burn about 355 calories, about the same as 30 minutes on my elliptical. However, the rower is showing only about 90 calories after 30 minutes. I am out of shape and just started rowing again, but that seems a pretty big discrepancy.

    In the interest of full disclosure I am using rechargable batteries if that really makes a difference.

    1. Hi Jim,

      Most rowers in the lower price range do not have very accurate calorie counters. The Stamina Air Rower calorie counter is just an estimate and Stamina recommends to only use it as a comparison between workouts. I’m not sure exactly how it is calculated but it is usually just takes an average size person and calculates the average amount of calories burned for each rowing stroke.

      I wrote an article explaining how calories are calculated and why most machines do not record them accurately. Here is the link if you want to read it: Calculating Calories Burned on a Rowing Machine. When you get into the higher price range machines like the Concept2 Model D they incorporate your age, weight, and heart rate to get an accurate calorie reading.

      I hope this helped and if you read my article it will explain how to calculate your calories burned during a workout. You would just have to record your heart rate or purchase an inexpensive heart rate monitor.

      Thanks for the comment!

  8. I recently bought this machine used. I never gave it a thought that the “distance” wouldn’t be measured in meters. Is it measured in miles? and is there a way to change it?

    1. Jimmy,

      Sorry but there is not a way to change the monitor from meters to miles. Rowing machines use meters as a universal form of measurement similar to the way track and field uses the metric system. It is a way to keep everything apples to apples.

      To start, just begin converting your Km to miles every session and you will quickly get used to the distances. 1 Km = 0.621371 miles.


  9. Hi, I am 5’3″ approx. 160lbs and am trying everything to get off my plateau to lose 35lbs. I am looking at going with rowing. I have a “rower” on my bowflex, but I know that is probably not my best option. I have looked at the Stamina Air you recommended, but am really interested in the Nordictrack RW200 rowing machine. It is very hard to get info. on it. Does this mean it sucks? It looks ok, even though it is a bit long. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Crissy,

      I have not reviewed this rower but I am curious about how you came across the Nordictrack rower and why you wanted to buy it? It seems like it would be a good rower for trying to lose weight but it is about double the cost of a Stamina 1399. Also, where would you be buying it from and would you be buying it from a place you can test it or will it be shipped to you?

      Send me all the information you can about “what you are looking for in a rower” and I will try to help you make the best decision!!


  10. Hi. Thank you for your article. It was very well written and informative. After researching different options, I just purchased this model and I am waiting for it to be delivered. I will find out when I get the rower, but I am curious, does the monitor show the strokes per minute? Thank you in advance!

    1. Thank you for the kind words Alex. I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

      Unfortunately, the monitor on the Stamina 1399 Air Rower does not show strokes per minute. The lower cost rowers tend to have more basic monitors than higher end models and usually have very basic functions.

      This is however a really great rower and I have no doubt you will be happy with your purchase. Let us know how you like your new rower!

      1. Well, I just received an email from the company that I ordered it from. I guess it is now on backorder so they canceled my order. It seems like a lot of sites show the same status. Looks like I won’t be getting it for a while. Do you have any suggestions on comparable models within the same price range? Thank you!

        1. Hi Alex,

          Sorry to hear it is currently out of stock. What company did you order the rower from? It looks like Amazon and Walmart websites have it in stock but the price has increased by $50. I’m not sure if this is because the supply is low or because the rower is so popular they decided to increase the price.

          Usually when a rower this popular is out of stock it is resupplied within 1-2 weeks. I like this rower so much I would consider waiting or contacting Stamina to see why it is out of stock and when they expect stock to be available.

          If you do not want to wait then I would look at Stamina’s other air rowers. The Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower (link to my review) and the Stamina X. Both are almost identical and the only difference is in color and pivoting footrests on the X. They cost a bit more due to slightly better material (using more metal than plastic).

          Sorry again that the rower isn’t available. It just sucks to get excited thinking you have a rower on the way to then have your ordered canceled. I hope everything works out and let me know if you have any questions.

          1. Hello again. Sorry to keep blowing up your comment section! Yes, after I posted the comment that it was canceled, I found it on Amazon. I ended up purchasing it for the extra $50. Prior to that, it was back ordered everywhere (even the company) with an approximate shipping date of April 18th! It will be here tomorrow and I can’t wait! Thanks for your replies!

          2. So far, so good! I have never rowed before so I have nothing to compare it to but it seems like a great purchase so far. It came very well packaged and was very easy to set up. All of the tools needed for assembly were included and the instructions were very clear. I have no problem with the noise level at all. It is quieter than I expected and not loud at all. I have watched several videos so I know the proper technique and some different exercise programs. I believe I will see great results after using the rower on a consistent basis. Thank you again for your information through the purchasing process.

  11. Hi Edwin,
    I was so happy to find this article as I am 5′-2″ and 125 pounds, so was concerned about how to buy a rower for home. I have used them in gyms, but for home, I was hoping The Stamina 1215 would work for me, as it does have the free motion arms. I’ve tried to find someplace locally to test it out, but to no avail. I will call the company Monday to see what they say, but wondering if you’ve since the earlier inquiries about it heard anything more.
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi June,

      I think both the Stamina 1215 and Stamina 1399 are great beginner rowing machines. Both provide strong, smooth rowing strokes and have great build quality.

      The decision would be whether or not you want a hydraulic-piston or air rowing machine. Both rowers would fit you well and I feel you would be happy with either machine.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

        1. Hello June,

          I don’t mean to intrude on your comment, but I have the 1215 and I’m actually thinking of buying the 1399, because I have found the 1215 to be quite uncomfortable for someone my height (5′4″). The arms are too long, so my hands end up above my shoulders and I feel like I’m hanging from them, rather than controlling them. I can’t understand why they don’t make the arms adjustable, of all parts.

          Just my two cents. Hope it helps =)

          1. Manu,

            Thank you for the comment! I actually mention this in my 1215 review and recommend for anyone 5’2″ or shorter to watch out for this problem. I may have to raise the height limit.

            I also mention this problem in my article about the best rower for a shorter person.

            Thank you for your insight! :)

          2. Thank you, Manu. I actually very much appreciate that you’ve shared your personal experience with this product with me. It is valuable information that I think will save me a bit of buyer’s remorse, along with other comments I’ve read, including those by Edwin. Your direct experience lends a lot of weight!


  12. I am a middle aged, short-statured woman, 4 ft 6 in looking for a machine that will provide a good full body workout with very little stress to my joints and the Stamina 1399 looks like it might fit the bill. Unfortunately, I am also genetically predisposed to bad knees and joints in addition to having lower back pain. My inseam is 23 inches and I’m worried if this machine will be too large for me. I know that other short individuals have indicated that they haven’t had any problems using this rowing machine, but none in my height range. Any recommendations would be helpful. Jill

    1. Hi Jill,

      You should have no problem using this rower at 4’6″. People of all heights have used this rowing machine with no issue.

      The main thing to worry about when thinking about a machine being to big is making sure the seat can slide far enough forward and that the rowing handle isn’t at a fixed height. The Stamina 1399 seat will slide almost all the way to the foot pedals and the rowing handle can be pulled to any area on your torso, so you will be fine.

      This rower is actually one of the recommended rowers in my article for the best rowing machine for short people.

      I hope this answer helps and let me know if you need anything else!

  13. I just ordered the Stamina Air Rower 1399 and have been doing research and reading reviews all night… i noticed above you stated the monitor recorded distance in miles, but below while responding to a comment you stated it was in meters? which is it?

    1. Hi Sam,

      I made a typo in the comments and meant to write “there is no way to change the monitor from miles to meters” not the other way around.

      The Stamina 1399 Air Rower records distance in miles.


  14. Edwin,

    Very informative reviews, thank you. Can you comment on the difference between the 1399 and the Avari magnetic rower? I understand the difference in machines; I wonder if the Avari is worth the extra money?


    1. Hi Terry,

      Thank you for the kind words! Comparing the Stamina 1399 vs. Stamina Avari is sort of an apples to oranges comparison due to the major differences. The 3 major differences are the resistance types, monitors, and price.

      The magnetic resistance will be “adjustable” using the monitor. This means you will set the level and it will remain the same resistance no matter how hard you row. To increase the resistance you would need to press a button. The magnetic resistance will also be very quiet.

      The air rower will not be adjustable but will be “variable”. In order to feel more resistance, you will need to row faster. The noise will also be louder.

      The monitor on the Stamina Avari will also be a lot better with different workout programs and more data points.

      So to answer the question about it being worth the extra money is hard to say. You will definitely be getting a better monitor, quieter machine, and the ability to adjust the resistance. If these things are important to you then yes it is worth the extra money. If you feel the Stamina 1399 offers you everything you need then there is no need to spend more money.

      1. Can you compare the stamina Avari to the velocity magnetic rower? They seem similar in features, but the price difference is significant. I’m looking for the best value. Thanks again.


        1. Hi Terry,

          If you are looking for the best value, I feel you would be able to get the same great workout with the Velocity Magnetic as the Stamina Avari but at a lower price.

          The only downside to the Velocity Magnetic seems to be a few more quality issues with the monitor and worse customer service. Its not surprising though as these things usually get worse as price drops.

          If you don’t experience any quality issues then the Velocity Magnetic would be the better value.

  15. Hello Terry.

    Really enjoy the site and the information you provide. I noticed in reviews of the other Stamina models, you mention great for HIIT workouts. Is there a reason you do not mention that for this model and if so, why?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Todd,

      Thank you for the compliment! There isn’t a reason why I left it out on this model. I must have just forgotten.

      The Stamina Air Rower is great for HIIT workouts as well. Doing intervals of 1 minute on and 1 minute rest (or 30 seconds) will work best for rowing. Sometimes doing the “Tabata Protocol”, which is 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest can be a bit short to get your heart rate going to 100% max.

      You can always change HIIT workouts to whatever suits you best. Just google “Rowing HIIT Workouts” and a lot of great articles will come up.

      Good luck!

  16. Hi Edwin,

    Is there any real difference between Stamina 1399 and Stamina 1402? Would you recommend one over the other?


    1. There are a few small differences between the Stamina 1399 vs. Stamina 1402.

      The Stamina 1399 has a plastic flywheel housing while the Stamina 1402 has a metal housing.

      The Stamina 1402 also has “strokes per minute” and “total strokes” added to the monitor that the 1399 does not include.

      The 1402 is normally priced $50 higher than the Stamina 1399 but this can sometimes fluctuate.

      I would purchase the Stamina 1399 because I don’t feel the small upgrades are worth the extra $50 but some people like “strokes per minute” to help keep track of there pace and also like the durability/look of the metal flywheel housing.

      Hope this helps and good luck! :)

  17. Hi. I have a question about weight limits.

    I see that many of the rowers have weight limits around 250 pounds, including the Stamina Air that I’m looking at.

    I’m 6 feet, 240 pounds. Is this a concern for me? Should I be picking something with a limit above 250? Realistically, I’m not going to get much heavier but I wouldn’t want to buy something if it is going to not be sturdy enough for my weight.

    Your site has been very valuable my research on rowing machines. Thank you.

    1. Hi Jeff,

      If you are 240 lbs. then I would not be concerned with a 250 lb. weight limit. The manufacturer usually lists a conservative weight limit because they are trying to cut down on the amount of warranty claims. Often times there are people over the weight limit who report having used the rower without any issues.

      You would also have to go up significantly in price to find a higher quality rower. Most rowing machines under $500 have a 250 lb. capacity. The only other air rower model that has been tested with heavier users is the Stamina X Air Rower. However, there have been some quality issues with the chain so you may be better off with the 1399.

      Glad you found my site useful! Please let me know if you need anything else!

  18. Hi!
    Does the Stamina 1399 rower work 100% based on air resistance? I ask you this because I saw a lot of rowers which are air + magnetic….

    Your site contains some great information about rowing machines. Thank you.

    1. Hi Norbi,

      I’m glad you are enjoying the site! Yes, the Stamina 1399 is 100% an air resistance rower.

      There are models that have a mix of air and magnetic resistance. The lowest cost air/magnetic rower is the Sunny Health SF-RW5623.

      Good luck and let me know if you need anything else.

  19. Hi Edwin,

    Great review, very informative. I’m just wondering if there is any difference between the Stamina 1399 and the Sirius Fitness SF525? The specs and images look identical, I’m wondering if its simply a rebranding for a different market because I’m located in Canada. I’ve found both on with a roughly $35 difference in price so before I pay extra for an identical item, I wanted to ask a pro.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Matt,

      I’d have to say they look exactly the same. Obviously it’s hard to say whether all the material is the same but it looks to me that way.

      Looks like it’s brand new on It’ll be interesting to see what Stamina will try to do to get them kicked off. Anyway, I’d say both rowers are identical.

      If you decide to buy either model I would appreciate if you bought through my link. Just click the price button to bring you to Amazon and I will receive credit for the sale at no extra cost to you.

      Also, let me know how you like the rower. I love hearing feedback, especially on new brands and models.


      1. Thanks for the quick reply!

        I went ahead and ordered the Sirius Fitness model because as of today the price on the 1399 went up another $20 on I did click your affiliate link when I purchased, but yours went to the American Amazon so I had to navigate to the Canadian one and find the Sirius model and I’m not sure if it kept the affiliate tag when I did so.

        I will follow up when it gets delivered.

        Thanks again!

        1. Great! Good luck with the new rower!

          I think I fixed the issue and people should be taken to Amazon Canada but not sure. Thanks for trying!

          Looking forward to see how you like it!

  20. Is the range of motion similar or shorter than that of the model d from concept 2. I’m really sold on this unit based on your recommendation but I am concerned it won’t give me that full body workout I’m used to.

    1. The Stamina ATS Air Rower will still give you the full range of rowing motion as long as you aren’t very tall (over 6’4″).

      Taller rowers could experience some restriction on their range of motion when they are in the catch position. Meaning, when their knees are bent, torso bent forward, and arms extended fully forward.

      This is due to the more compact nature of the Stamina Air Rower compared to the Concept2. However, there have been rowers as tall as 6’6″ who have used the ATS Rower without any issues.

      So yes, you will have similar range of motion on the Stamina Air Rower. The only thing you have to realize is the entire rowing motion will not be exactly like a Concept2. This rower cost 1/3 the price and no budget rowing machine is going to perform like the high-end models.

    1. Hi Tom,

      Some users felt the Stamina 1399 was a little louder. However, from what I can remember they were very similar. The noise has a lot to do with intensity. The faster and harder you row, the more noise an air rower will make.

      Maybe it’s 5% louder at lower intensity and the same at higher intensity.

  21. Hi Edwin,I live in Mexico (unfortunately) and don’t have such a big offer as in the US. There is here a Stamina X rower. What is your opinion on this one, is it better than the Stamina 1399? I would really appreciate your opinion on this. Thank you! Best regards.

    1. Hi Jorge,

      Mexico is beautiful! If I could move to Quintana Roo I would!

      The Stamina X and Stamina 1399 are very similar but the Stamina X will have a better monitor and a metal rowing chain. It is also made of more metal parts so it can withstand more intense rowing. However, it does sometimes have problems with the chain falling off the sprocket.

      If you are going to be doing intense Crossfit style workouts, then the Stamina X is better. If you are just going to be doing regular rowing for cardio, then the Stamina 1399 should be better and also cost less.

      I have a Stamina X Air Rower review here that you can read and compare.

  22. is there any problem if I change my grip on the 1399 and end the stroke with an arm curl?
    also is there any issue in raising the angle of incline with a block or something?
    thank you!

    1. Hi Jay,

      No, issue that I can see. May feel a little awkward at first due to the rowing machine not being designed for this use, but if it works it works!

    1. Hi Dan,

      I would try to contact the manufacturer at “Stamina Products”. They will be your best bet.

  23. I have been researching rowers for the past 2 weeks. I am male, 66, 154 pds, 5’6″. I have been debating between the Stamina 1399 or the next model up, vs Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower Model: A350-700, which is on sale at BJ’s (if I don’t blow it) for $500.00. Yes, I do watch TV, but not sure if an air rower will drown the sound out or not. I could get an air rower, probably be happy, and save half the money. Any thoughts? In particular, between these two models as to quality and workout?

    1. Hi Ron,

      Thank you for reaching out! I recommend you read two articles of mine:


      The first article will give you a comparison between both resistance types. It should help you decide between the two. The second will show you whether or not you think an air rower will be too loud.

      The Stamina Avari will have a more advanced monitor and is more advanced overall, but it does cost 2x as much as the 1399 so that is expected. It’s not a great apples to apples comparison.

  24. Sir Edwin, date,3-2-19, I purchased a Stamina 1399 AIR ROWER 3 years ago, GREAT WORKOUT, The only problem I have is the spring on mine will break about once a year, not too hard to fix,fairly inexpensive, I was just wondering or wishing they could Modify or beef up the spring, Sure works great until it breaks,like today.. Just wondered if anyone else had this problem..Thank you for your time. Clinton

    1. Hi Clinton,

      Thanks for the feedback!

      I’m not familiar with the issue but any feedback from readers would be great or how you are able to resolve the issue.

      1. I have this exact same problem with this exact same rower, so much so that I have the part number memorized (35-1399-931) and I order them two at a time to save on shipping. I was told by Stamina (you’re right, they’re very helpful) that it’s because I use the rower for an hour straight and this can over heat that part. It’s not a huge problem to replace it, but it is annoying. I was actually on your site looking for a rower that can be used for an hour without it breaking every 6-9 months. Do you have any recommendations?

        1. Hi Jeff – Thanks for reaching out and supplying the info on how to replace the spring. That is very helpful to everyone.

          If you are looking to row for an hour straight and still looking for an air rower, I think it would make sense to bump up to a higher quality model. It seems like you use it enough to warrant spending a little extra.

          I think the Concept2 Model D is the best rower and can 100% be used everyday, for multiple hours, for years! There are then some other models that cos a few hundred less but are also very solid rowing machines like the Xebex Rower, which is sold by

  25. Hi Edwin
    I just purchased this rower here in the UK under the branding of ‘V-fit Cylone’ by Beny UK Sports Ltd, it’s the exact same model as in your review except the display is in Km not mph. I have used a Concept 2 at my local gym and previously owned a Tunturi R25 Magnetic rower. I went for the
    V-fit/Stamina due to the limited space i have and also price point, i wanted a compact air rower as i like the fact the harder you row the more intense the workout and what i like about this model is that there is no adjustment other than the intensity at which you row at, although i am 5’11” i have short legs and long body so it’s a perfect fit the only adjustment i made was to remove the front seat stop as i seemed to keep hitting it, now it’s removed i get a more fluid rhythm going that inch or two just made enough difference, i did read reviews beforehand and it seems as a previous reviewer stated there seems to be a quality issue with the spring, the price i paid was £199 with free delivery which i think is excellent value, the warranty is for a year so if my spring breaks it’s covered short term, i have been using it for the last couple of days and have been very impressed so far.
    Richard Hughes

  26. Hi there. Love your posts very informative. I have the stamina air rower 1399 The computer just stopped tracking anything it turns on but it doesn’t track anything at all. Any idea how I can fix this ?

    1. Hi Monik,

      Thank you for the kind words! The best option would be to contact the Stamina Customer Support.

      It may be a faulty wire or sensor they might be able to troubleshoot or send a replacement.

  27. In reading reviews on Amazon, the overarching negative that most people have is that the spring mechanism breaks and the belt won’t retract. (Also people mentioned the belt fraying.) I guess I’m just wondering if you know more about this issue, or if you think it’s worth taking my chances that I’ll get a good machine. I know sometimes companies work out glitches over the years, but many of these reviews were in 2019. Just looking for your thoughts on if it’s still worth buying in light of the Amazon reviews. I know $280 isn’t much in the rowing world, but it’s still a lot of money for something that may break in 6 months. I appreciate your feedback!!

    1. Hi Moriah,

      Unfortunately, there is always some risk with these lower cost rowers. There are some extended warranties you can buy on Amazon which can help protect against this downside or you can look at the Stamina 1402, which is the exact same rower but with a metal chain.

      I still think the 1399 is the best low cost air rower but it does come with a few small downsides.

      1. Thanks for your feedback. I think I’ll go ahead and get it and hope for the best! I’ve been wanting to get into rowing ever since reading “The Boys in the Boat” about the University of Washington’s 1936 Olympic rowing team. It was very inspiring and – as a 40 year old with 6 young kids – it has made me want to get back into shape and enjoy the benefits of rowing. I’ve learned a lot from your website and it has been an excellent resource for those of us who haven’t known where to start. Thank you!

        1. If the spring ever breaks you can order a new one from stamina for $25 plus shipping. part # 35-1399-931. I’ve had this rower for 4 years and it works great, but I do have to replace that part at least once a year.

  28. Hi Edwin,
    Thanks for a great website on rowers. Do you have information on the maintenance of the different types of rowers? I’m looking to buy one and ease of maintenance is an important criterion for me.

    1. Hi Joan – thanks for reaching out and thank you for the kinds words!

      Most air rowing machines have very little maintenance. I would stay away from hydraulic-piston rowers since sometimes you have to replace the pistons. Magnetic rowers also have more electric and mechanical parts, so there may be a slightly higher chance of them malfunctioning. Water rowers will require you to change the water every 6 months (maybe more if it gets moldy).

      Air rowers are pretty simple and use a fan blade for resistance. All you have to do is wipe down the seat to keep your seat rolling smoothly and oil the chain (if it uses a chain and not a strap). That’s it! There really isn’t any ongoing maintenance.

  29. Hi Edwin,

    I’ve been doing some price research, and I can’t find the 1399 on Stamina’s website anymore. Have they phased out this model? If so, do you still recommend it over their other offerings? Thanks!

    1. That is strange! I haven’t heard anything about them phasing it out and I doubt they would considering it has been one of their bestsellers for a long time. I still recommend it as the best budget air rowing machine.

      It’s possible they are out of stock since rowing machine sales have been through the roof duets everyone being stuck at home during the virus quarantine.

      1. Thanks for the reply! That may be the case.

        I’d love to get the Concept2 Model D, but it’s hard to justify the price difference of $600, given that the users will be two average-height people under 150 lbs…

        1. Hi Katie – yeah they are quite expensive! The 1399 is a great rower to start with until you are certain it’s going to get a lot of use and warrant spending more money.

          I wrote posts about the Xebex Rower and Endurance R300 Rower. They are similar to the Concept2 but less expensive. You can also give them a look but they are usually around $600-$700

  30. Hello, I am 5’4″, and want to buy the Stamina 1399 after reading your reviews. Would it be the right size fit for me? Thank you!

  31. I have definitely decided on a Stamina Air resistance rower after reading all your wonderful informative articles.
    I was planning on ordering the Stamina 1399 but having difficulty locating one.
    Is the 1402 and 1403 comparable?
    Also I was looking at the Stamina X or 1413 which has a chain? Is the chain more durable than the band?
    Which of these would you recommend as all of these fall into my price point?
    Thanks again for your wonderful site full of information to me a first time rower.

    1. Hi Rayne – thanks for reaching out! It’s a bit annoying that Stamina creates all these very similar rowers and calls them by slightly different numbers!

      The 1402 is the same as the 1399 except it will have a slightly different monitor and a metal fan cage. The 1403 should be the same as the 1399 except it’s all black.

      The chain is technically more durable but I never hear of the band wearing out. I have heard of the chain giving people issues on the X and 1413 so sometimes it can be more annoying to have the chain because it falls off the sprocket.

      I think the 1399, 1402, or 1403 are great choices. All of the Stamina rowers in this price range are fairly similar. I would go with the Stamina X if you are more into CrossFit style HIIT workouts and sprinting (due to the metal chain and more metal parts).

  32. This is the most honest and thorough review I have read and has convinced me to pull the trigger on buying it. Thank you for the time and effort you put into making it.

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